One of my biggest NFL quandaries is why so many people hate on Donovan McNabb. If you’re not a Pats, Colts, Saints, Packers, or Steelers fan…Donovan is better than your QB. It’s not only the fans that underrate one of the best QB’s in the modern era; the players just picked him #100 in the NFL Networks top 100 players. Seriously? #100? McNabb, recently traded to the Minnesota Vikings, will be much better then #100 with AP toting the rock.
Is Donovan McNabb an Elite QB?
I have heard many negative comments about McNabb, most notably that he’s never won the big one. I’ve heard he quits, throws dirt balls, jokes around too much, and is out of shape. Do these slights by naysayers prevent him from being an ELITE QB? There seems to be so much emotion behind the decision to dislike McNabb, but what are we really discussing here? In this article we will be answering the question…is Donovan McNabb an elite QB in the NFL? I will stick to as many facts and statistics as I can to win you over, and show you without a doubt…Donovan McNabb is the real deal.
8 Years of Dominance
Did you know during an 8 year span with the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb took them to the NFC Championship Game 5 times? That’s better than every other year to the NFC Championship Game for Eagles fans. The Eagles went to the NFC Championship game four years in a row from 2001-2004 Can you remember any other team doing that? Not even Tom Brady and his beloved Pats did this. Still, McNabb gets no love.
Many people claim…“well he had one of the best teams, so of course they went to the NFC Championship”. Here is a list of Donovan’s WR’s during the stretch of NFC Championship appearances:
- Na Brown
- James Thrash
- Freddie Mitchell
- Todd Pinkston
- Dameane Douglas
- Antonio Freeman
- Gregg Lewis
- Terrell Owens
McNabb was obviously not throwing to Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The one year he had T.O., Donovan played the entire playoffs without him…taking his team to the Super Bowl. Owens did make an appearance in the Super Bowl in 2004, but the Eagles lost to Tom Brady and the NE Patriots by 3 points in a game that went down to the wire.
QB’s Who Win Games are Legends…Right?
Donovan McNabb wins games, I think everyone knows that, but let’s compare him to some of the all-time greats shall we. Here is a list of QB’s with a .600+ winning percentages who have won 100 or more games:
- Brady: .776 (125-36)
- Montana: .711 (133-54)
- Bradshaw: .684 (121-56)
- Manning: .664 (150-76)
- Unitas: .653 (124-66)
- Young: .650 (102-55)
- Elway: .645 (162-89)
- Starr: .644 (105-58)
- Favre: .618 (199-123)
- Marino: .601 (155-103)
Now where do you think McNabb ranks?
McNabb has a career record of 97-57-1, which includes his year with the Washington Redskins in 2010. That is a winning percentage of .630…which would make him the #9 most winning QB of All-Time (as soon as he reached 100 wins of course). That would put him ahead of guess who…the worlds original golden boy Bret Favre, and would boot Dan Marino from the top 10. That is an elite list of QB’s, wouldn’t you agree? Then why is McNabb not mentioned in the same breath…doesn’t it make you wonder?
Stats Don’t Lie
Here are some other notable statistics…otherwise known as facts that prove McNabb’s greatness (Pro-Football-Reference):
- McNabb is currently #15 All-Time in passing Yards (36,250)
That’s more than Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, & Kurt Warner to name a few (and let’s remember who he was throwing to…not Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Randy Moss, or Issac Bruce)
- McNabb is currently #3 all-time in INT % at 2.2%
INT percentage is a measure of taking care of the ball. As a QB, this is a very significant statistic. McNabb is currently tied with Tom Brady. Joe Montana is 18th on the list.
- McNabb has a career QB rating of 86.5, ranking him 23rd all-time in the NFL
Sure the QB rating is an arbitrary statistic, but it is the tool the NFL uses to judge QB’s performances.
- McNabb was the first NFL quarterback ever to throw for more than 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions (2004)
The first QB to accomplish this feat…that’s something when you consider those who came before him.
- McNabb is one of five quarterbacks all-time to have over 30,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards (alongside Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton, Steve McNair, and John Elway)
Again, seriously relevant company
ALL-TIME QB Rankings
Want more Proof Donovan McNabb is better than your QB? Check out this article by Bleacher Report (Top 25 NFL QB’s of All-Time), a very reputable sports blog. The reason I LOVE this article is the rankings are statistically based…here is the formula they use:
- MVP awards= 10 points
- Super Bowl wins= 5 points
- Super Bowl losses= -2 points
- Pro Bowl selections = 2 points
- Total Career Yards= 1 point for every 1000 yards rounded to the closest whole number
- Career Yards per Attempt= 1 point per yard rounded to closest whole number
- Career Touchdowns= 1 point for every 10 touchdowns
- Career interceptions= – 1 point for every interception
- Total career wins= 1 point every 10 wins rounded
- Winning Seasons= 2 points every winning season played
- Losing Seasons= -1 point per losing season
With this formula where did Donovan McNabb rank? #22 ALL-TIME! Ahead of Roger Staubuch, Boomer Esiason, and Phill Sims (all of whom would be rated higher by most NFL fans outside of Philadelphia)
Other notables (Bart Star #19, Troy Aikman #15, Terry Bradshaw #9, Tom Brady #8, Dan Marino #5, Payton Manning #2)
The Bleacher Report also has a more recent top 30 QB’s of all-time with a different ranking system, in which McNabb ranks #27
He’s Never Won the BIG ONE
- Dan Marino
- Jim Kelley
- Waren Moon
- Fran Tarkenton
Those players are still considered some of the best of all-time, are they not? Why not McNabb?
He’s Too Old
Okay now you’re saying…yah, yah…but McNabb is over the hill, he’s too old to get it done. McNabb is only 34 years old right now. 34. As QB’s go…that’s not old. I don’t know if you can remember back to 2010, but a certain QB by the name of Brett Favre played when he was 40 (and had a great year). I’m not saying McNabb will have the longevity of the “ageless one”, but most established QB’s play well into their late 30’s…so age is not an issue.
He’s Been on the Decline?
Maybe I’ve conviced you McNabb is a GREAT QB, not a good QB (which most still don’t give him credit for), but you still think he stunk it up last year and is on the decline. But is he? The Washington Redskins Defense was terrible last season! The Skins D gave up the 2nd most yards per game (389.3y/g), they were 2nd worst against the pass (261.7y/g), and 7th worst in the NFL against the rush (127.6y/g). Despite these horrible defensive numbers, McNabb went 5-8 in 13 games and threw 14 TD’s and 15 INT’s, he also threw for 260/game. So was that debacle McNabb’s fault?
The year before last (2009-2010)…McNabb had a QB rating of 92.9, which was the 3rd highest QB rating he’s had in his 12 year career. He also threw for 3500+ yards, 24 TD’s (rushed for 2 TD’s), and had just 10 INT’s. Now i’m no rocket scientist, but those don’t look like declining numbers to me. Am I wrong?
So is Donovan McNabb better than your QB? The answer is yes. There are a handful of teams with very solid QB’s who McNabb could not replace, but we are talking about 5 or 6 teams. McNabb will surprise people this year because as they did on his draft day, people have once again counted him out. With his new dynamic team, the Minnesota Vikings, McNabb will prove once again why he is one of the best QB’s in the NFL right now, and why he will go down as one of the greatest all-time.